Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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ROMNEY'S RINGLING RUN-AROUND Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Photo by Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE'S RALLY AT THE SARASOTA ART MUSEUM MAY HAVE VIOLATED THE MUSEUM'S RENTAL POLICY. By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Word began spreading across social media late Wednesday, Sept. 19, that, by agree- ing to host a Mitt Romney rally Thursday afternoon, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art might have violated its own rental policy, which specifically bans all "Fundraising, Political or Revenue Gener- ating activities." True, according to Ringling Museum Ex- ecutive Director Steven High. "There are conflicts with the policies of the museum," he says. The "Ringling Museum of Art Rental Poli- cies & Procedures," posted on the museum website, contains a provision that says, "No Fundraising, Political or Revenue Generat- ing activities [are] allowed by parties other than the Ringling Museum of Art." According to High, the Romney campaign approached the museum Sunday evening. "It was a major, certainly a national, event," he says, "and so we went to the leaders at Florida State University for guidance on this and their decision was to move for- ward." (FSU has overseen the Ringling Mu- seum since 2000.) According to High, the rules laid out in the website document "are not governing pol-

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